Albania welcomes Chinese big business

08:33, June 02, 2011      

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Albania wants to strengthen its relations with China and welcomes Chinese investment, Prime Minister Sali Berisha's office said Wednesday.

"Prime Minister Berisha underlined that the Albanian government is determined to develop better and friendlier relations with China," a statement from his office quoted the prime minister as saying to visiting Xinhua Editor-in-Chief He Ping.

During the meeting, Berisha said his government attaches great importance to China-Albania relations, and is committed to strengthening cooperation with China in various fields, including cultural and media exchanges.

Berisha said the last few years have witnessed significant progress in bilateral relations. He welcomed Chinese businesses to invest in Albania, citing rich mineral deposits, hydro-power, and tourism resources and an improved investment environment.

Berisha also singled out cooperation in the field of information exchanges as one more opportunity for both countries to get acquainted with the economic developments in both countries. China has helped build Albania's economy from the 1960's until the 1980's, the prime minister said.

"Our countries are now undergoing big transformation processes and all-sided cooperation is of very great interest," Berisha said, detailing Albania's modernization of road, digital and internet infrastructure to He.

A favorable climate of investment has taken hold in Albania thanks to the reforms of his government, Berisha said.

The time for registering a business has been cut to 30 minutes from 40 days in a one-stop-shop registration.

The Xinhua editor-in-chief, who was on a visit to Albania at the invitation of the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), echoed Berisha's remarks in praising the development of bilateral relations.

He said Xinhua is ready to deepen and expand communications and cooperation with Albanian media in an effort to boost the friendship between the two peoples.

He also said Xinhua would provide more information to Chinese people and the business circle on Albania's latest developments, especially in trade-related areas.

The visit, He said, would contribute to the strengthening of cooperation between Xinhua and Albanian media organizations, such as Xinhua's partner the ATA.

"The agency I manage will not only serve as a bridge of friendship between the two countries, but will also present the big economic developments of Albania and the favorable investment climate in order to stimulate the interest of Chinese businesses to expand their activity in Albania and enhance cooperation at all levels," the statement quoted He as saying.

One Chinese company, Illyria Minerals Industry, has partnered with a Turkish company to develop the chrome-rich area of Kalimash in northern Albania.

Chinese traders have also set up businesses in Albania selling goods to Albanian merchants and have opened Chinese restaurants.

Albania's trade with China is growing while neighboring Greece and Italy remain Albania's main trade partners.

Source: Xinhua
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